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  • Originally posted by wingman View Post

    Wow -- another whole side to Jim Larsen! I had never heard of any of this. Jim and I were not close, but always spent time talking over on the photo trailer or out on the pylons.. He is a very interesting man. Birgitta really liked Jim. One year back in the mid 1990s she got curious about how he worked. She followed him around the pits at a distance for a couple of hours and just watched. She said it was a different experience. Jim would just walk around looking at things and very occasionally take a photo or two of something interesting. The remarkable thing was how few shots he took. I'd be tearing around trying to photograph everything -- I could easily expose a couple of rolls of film just walking the length of the pits. Nobody would ever see them. Jim would do his thing usiing a lot less film and a lot less energy and the next month have really wonderful photos all over Air Classics. I learned an awful lot about my art from simply studying Jim's photographs whereever I could find them.

    A great guy with endless aspects -- engineer, airplane designer, and master photographer.

    Neal
    Well, there are perhaps several aspects of Jim you may not be familiar with. Dad and Mom have known him pretty well, us too, and there've been several chapters for Jim, from his first wife Sue, through later happenings.

    One small happening is pictured below. Here are Jim and Dad on the USS Forrestal in about 1977 in front of a C-1. They trapped aboard and catapulted off and were on-deck up close for flight operations and lots of picture taking. It was the first of many adventures Dad, Eric and I had introducing racers to carrier aviation. Later on, as John knows - Dad, Eric and I took Lyle aboard the Eisenhower. We trapped aboard, had a great time roaming the carrier for two days, introduced Lyle to the VFA-15 "Valions" who were then flying F/A-18 Hornets. They were the same squadron Lyle had been as VA-15 in the 1960s flying Skyraiders. Lyle had a great time as did we and there are some really great stories from that trip.

    Later on, Eric and I took Gary Levitz out aboard the USS Roosevelt. Same deal, flew out in a C-2, trapped aboard, saw Hornets, Prowlers and Hawkeyes launch and recover ten feet away for a couple days and then catapulted off. Gary had Miss Ashley II at this point and we gave the air wing's Air Boss and squadron COs Miss Ashley II/Roomstore t-shirts.

    We did lots of things with racers away from Reno and the races. That was very cool. John will remember well when Dad nominated Lyle to the Motorsports Hall of Fame and we all went to Michigan in 1999 for his induction. We had a ball talking to Jeff Gordon, George Follmer, David Hobbs, Bart Markel and many more. I developed a considerable crush on Indy Car/Open wheel car designer Harry Miller's grand daughter, Laura. Good times.....​

    Click image for larger version

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    Jan

    http://www.AirRace.info = http://www.airrace.de

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Big_Jim View Post

      What that guy really should do is take one of those Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F Bearcats and make a Rare Bear.
      Hmm... do you mean something like... this? (And some other airplanes)
      Click image for larger version

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      Jan

      http://www.AirRace.info = http://www.airrace.de

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Jan View Post

        Hmm... do you mean something like... this? (And some other airplanes)
        Click image for larger version  Name:	Racers 1.jpg Views:	137 Size:	412.0 KB ID:	265081 Click image for larger version  Name:	Racers 2.jpg Views:	133 Size:	521.6 KB ID:	265082 Click image for larger version  Name:	Racers 3.jpg Views:	133 Size:	522.5 KB ID:	265083
        Jan,

        No that is an example of a personal dig from Brad to me. Brad passed along a Trumpeter F8F-2 Bearcat. He had used the 1/32 scale Bearcat propeller for a Mustang Racer he was building so there is no propeller. So I started out thinking I would build a Three bladed Rare Bear for an IPMS show. Then one day looking at the large amount of Rare Bear pictures I have where there is nothing forward of the firewall I decided that I would build the kit as Rare Bear, one wing folded, one tip removed, canopy open, hell hole door open. Because that is how I remember it the most.

        Not the beautiful sleek bad ass racer it was for a two week period every year.

        ​​​So........... Brad is throwing me back under the bus, from wence I came.

        Since then I currently think I want to build two more models and then stop. I am meeting with a buyer soon for my little air force to go to.

        I want to build a P-51A 1/32 in the splinter camouflage and the F8F-2 in the blue/yellow/orange drone control paint job.

        Last edited by BellCobraIV; 05-10-2024, 02:46 PM.
        John Slack

        Comment


        • Originally posted by BellCobraIV View Post


          No that is an example of a personal dig from Brad to me. Brad passed along a Trumpeter F8F-2 Bearcat. He had used the 1/32 scale Bearcat propeller for a Mustang Racer he was building so there is no propeller. So I started out thinking I would build a Three bladed Rare Bear for an IPMS show. Then one day looking at the large amount of Rare Bear pictures I have where there is nothing forward of the firewall I decided that I would build the kit as Rare Bear, one wing folded, one tip removed, canopy open, hell hole door open. Because that is how I remember it the most.

          Not the beautiful sleek bad ass racer it was for a two week period every year.

          (In my best Ralph Payne voice) Johnny, mah boy...if you promise to follow through with the Bearcat model that way, I promise that I will dedicate my last remaining Fisher 1/32 RB-51 kit to recreating the day she rolled out of Aero Sport and first took flight in June, 1975. We'll enter that IPMS contest together. Click image for larger version

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          • Originally posted by Big_Jim View Post

            (In my best Ralph Payne voice) Johnny, mah boy...if you promise to follow through with the Bearcat model that way, I promise that I will dedicate my last remaining Fisher 1/32 RB-51 kit to recreating the day she rolled out of Aero Sport and first took flight in June, 1975. We'll enter that IPMS contest together. Click image for larger version

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            You know he hasn't shown up in the pictures, but there was a well known Bearcat owner/racer out there watching the test flight. I have a lot of slides he took that day.
            John Slack

            Comment


            • Originally posted by BellCobraIV View Post

              Jan,

              No that is an example of a personal dig from Brad to me. Brad passed along a Trumpeter F8F-2 Bearcat. He had used the 1/32 scale Bearcat propeller for a Mustang Racer he was building so there is no propeller. So I started out thinking I would build a Three bladed Rare Bear for an IPMS show. Then one day looking at the large amount of Rare Bear pictures I have where there is nothing forward of the firewall I decided that I would build the kit as Rare Bear, one wing folded, one tip removed, canopy open, hell hole door open. Because that is how I remember it the most.

              Not the beautiful sleek bad ass racer it was for a two week period every year.

              ​​​So........... Brad is throwing me back under the bus, from wence I came.

              Since then I currently think I want to build two more models and then stop. I am meeting with a buyer soon for my little air force to go to.

              I want to build a P-51A 1/32 in the splinter camouflage and the F8F-2 in the blue/yellow/orange drone control paint job.
              Errr... ok. Gotcha. I just thought this little part of our air racing model collection looked cool. Anyway, there's more to see if anyone's interested.

              As for the RB and Bear models you guys are thinking of building, I fully understand why you'd build them that way.

              Another option of course is to build these two as they would have looked while screaming round the race course. And, if you think about it, that screaming around the course is what often led to all that work you had to do John. So.... you could also do a model of the Bear with oil streaking down the fuselage (I mean more than usual) and perhaps Brad could do a model of the RB trailing smoke after breaking blower gears.

              Or how about a Mojave 1976 tribute to "Spirit of '77" riding on the prop, pocket doors and tailwheel down runway 12-30 after the oil line ruptured during qualifying?

              *Please note that this is all tongue-in-cheek.
              Jan

              http://www.AirRace.info = http://www.airrace.de

              Comment


              • "how about a Mojave 1976 tribute to "Spirit of '77" riding on the prop, pocket doors and tailwheel down runway 12-30 after the oil line ruptured during qualifying?"

                My least favorite moment in my entire life.
                John Slack

                Comment


                • I always thought that would make a neat diorama. The hardest part would be replicating Lyle. Having being involved in racing cars and airplanes most of my life and blowing up more than a few small block Chevys I can understand the frustration..

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by BellCobraIV View Post
                    "how about a Mojave 1976 tribute to "Spirit of '77" riding on the prop, pocket doors and tailwheel down runway 12-30 after the oil line ruptured during qualifying?"

                    My least favorite moment in my entire life.
                    I'm fairly sure it made it into the Top Five Least Favorite Moments of the FBDoRB....my Dad had more than his share of hairy moments in his flying career, but, I never had to watch!
                    Eddie's Airplane Patch-Birthplace of the "Sonic Boom".......and I'm reminded every friggin' day!

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                    • Originally posted by SpinB View Post

                      I'm fairly sure it made it into the Top Five Least Favorite Moments of the FBDoRB....my Dad had more than his share of hairy moments in his flying career, but, I never had to watch!
                      There are few things that I appreciate more than those who called my Dad the FBDoRB, it's a small niche group, I won't share the meaning of that, but it put a smile on my face.
                      John Slack

                      Comment


                      • This was my first exposure to Lyle -- when he was running one of the Mojave races -- 1979 I think. I've known some high powered people in my time But Lyle was absolutely special. He had a "force field" that was unique. He somehow was the center of gravity of any grouping or conversation.

                        I do think in this case he would rather have been in the cockpit than what he was doing that day.
                        Last edited by wingman; 05-13-2024, 01:59 PM. Reason: Shit -- the board software will not give me the ability to post a picture today. I feel like crap anyway, and I'm not willing to dig into this any further right now. It was a good picture, though and

                        Comment


                        • Well here is the software's version of the photo I was trying to post earlier. For this I tried the idiotic camera symbol above the "write something" box, as the way things worked the other day is not working today. This picture is upright and otherwise fine in my files. Using the camera symbol somehow accesses a completely unedited past version of the photo. The AAFO software did this , and seems to offer no way at all to change it here. I just ****ing give up...
                          Last edited by wingman; 05-13-2024, 08:02 PM. Reason: I keep trying to figure out what the software is doing, and it's just not making sense.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by wingman View Post
                            This was my first exposure to Lyle -- when he was running one of the Mojave races -- 1979 I think. I've known some high powered people in my time But Lyle was absolutely special. He had a "force field" that was unique. He somehow was the center of gravity of any grouping or conversation.

                            I do think in this case he would rather have been in the cockpit than what he was doing that day.
                            Neal,
                            Almost universally everyone that got involved with the Rare Bear (John Tegler came up with that name.) was attracted to the program because it was easy to believe in Lyle and his brute of a machine. He was an uncommon "comman man" he wasn't a gazillionair, the funds were limited. However George Byard signed onto the program with the first engine. All we had to do was "not get anyone hurt". The second engine came along and There were a group of well seasoned mechanics at AC&T to train us, including lucky for an 11 year old kid me. Lyle would come into AC&T on one of their regular work days visit with George, Ray, Bill, and then head down to the shop and let everyone know about the program and how it was going. Everybody in the shop was treated just like they were George and Bill by Lyle. Mel Gregoire became a long time family friend. At C&S propeller it was the same thing. People were attracted to Lyle and because of that the team. He was magnetic, however there was also the group that was equally attracted by the presence of the two beasts.

                            The Bearcat was the ultimate bad dog beast, sure there were 4360 corncobs on the ramp, but with the Nitrous Oxide we could make more power reliably than they could. The Bear's package was a very small brutal package that taught the fear of God into everyone that flew the beast, Hell everyone that ran the beast. It wasn't a "fun" deal just running it with the stick all the way back at a certain point you could feel the tail come unstuck from the ground and do a little bounce. The first time Melody saw me run the Bearcat was for maintenance at the Watsonville Air show. After I finished securing everything she told me it was scary to watch, I responded wait until you see Lyle do it the tailwheel gets about 6 inches of the ground. She looked at me and said "you had the tailwheel about 6 inches of the ground." The next time I ran it I noticed for the first time that you could feel the tail get unstuck as it came up, the settle back as you came off the power.

                            Beast number two was Lyle, his personality started to change as he was strapping in to the airplane, he started concentrating on the task at hand and didn't like anything distracting his train of thought. Usually this was the time we discussed any intel regarding the other planes that was verified, not made up junk verified.
                            Last edited by BellCobraIV; 05-14-2024, 01:06 PM.
                            John Slack

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                            • Let's see if I can get Smugmug to help out...


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                              • Again, I really want to extend my thanks to those of you who were there and witnessed this incredible history in ways that so few did. Sharing this with we, the unwashed masses, has been so much fun to watch.
                                I broke my leg (again) three weeks ago, and being able to come to AAFO and get my daily dose of Legends of Reno Air Racing History has been a deeply soothing salve indeed!

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